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Governance of knowledge policies (ICPP, Milan, Italy)

Martina Vukasovic

The 2nd International Conference on Public Policy was held in Milan, 1-4 July 2015, on the premises Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. What was initially envisaged to be a three day conference, prolonged due to significant interest, gathered around 1300 participants from 63 countries, who presented and discussed approx. 1200 papers in 260 parallel sessions. In addition, 6 plenary sessions, including one focusing on the relationship between public policy and various disciplines (anthropology, economics, planning, political science, sociology, international relations, and philosophy). The conference was structured around 18 different topics, within which panels on particular issues were organized, sometimes including more than one paper session.

Jens Jungblut (photo credit: Mari Elken)

Jens Jungblut (photo credit: Mari Elken)

Concerning knowledge policies, they were the focus of four panels. ERA CRN network organized a panel on Governance of knowledge policies, structured around three elements and comprising nine papers: (1) discourse and ideas, (2) central organizations (i.e. universities or research institutes) and (3) groups and individuals within these central organizations (academic and research staff and students). In addition, panels focused on patterns and pathways of convergence and divergence in higher education, higher education policy in Asia and governance of higher education between historical roots and transnational convergence pressures.

Walter Ysebaert and Tatiana Fumasoli (photo credit: Mari Elken)

Walter Ysebaert and Tatiana Fumasoli (photo credit: Mari Elken)

Other panels of potential interest for those studying knowledge policies in multi-level multi-actor contexts included those focusing on defining policy problems, the work of policy analysts, horizontal policy coordination between different public policy sectors, global-local dynamic in public policy, global policy convergence, and multilevel implementation. Also, panels focused on advancing theoretical tools for analysing policy (e.g. Advocacy Coalition Framework or the Multiple Streams Framework, or discussing methods for policy analysis.

During the conference, the general assembly of the recently established International Public Policy Association was organized, focusing on strategic issues, relationships with existing networks and future events. The 3rd ICPP conference will take place in 2017, most likely in Singapore. In the meantime, those interested in public policy can consider participating in the 1st Regional Conference on Public Policy, 10-11 June 2016, in Hong Kong.

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